Northboro students win FIRST contest.Byline: Patricia J. James
UPTON - Brian Nardone and Billy Jones, both seventh-grade students at Robert E. Melican Middle School in Northboro, have something to brag about when they come to school this morning.
The two, along with several teammates who are also Melican Middle School students, beat out dozens of teams from Massachusetts and New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of in the eighth annual FIRST Lego League The FIRST Lego League (also known by its acronym FLL) is a competition for elementary and middle school students (ages 9-14, 9-16 in Europe), arranged by the FIRST organization. The competition revolves around making Lego robots to complete many tasks. Competition on Saturday at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School is a trade/high school in Upton, Massachusetts serving the Blackstone Valley (13 towns). The school contains seventeen shops that students can enroll in to learn about a trade of their choice. . FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.
Roughly 60 teams with members ages 9 to 14 competed for hours in the 2007 "Power Puzzle" Challenge, which had a theme this year of renewable energy Renewable energy utilizes natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, and hydroelectricity to biomass and biofuels for transportation. . The students had six weeks to prepare and program miniature Lego robots to complete missions that included solar panels on houses, wind turbines, planting trees, hydro-dams, and other environmentally friendly Environmentally friendly, also referred to as nature friendly, is a term used to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment. uses, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
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3. Stephen C. Grabowski, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School research and information services See Information Systems. officer. Hundreds of students participated to gain points for the various missions.
Daniel A. Strickland, who started the Northboro robotics program about five years ago with his wife, Bonnie Jean Strickland, said the town was represented by four teams at last weekend's competition - two teams from the middle school and two teams composed of elementary school students.
"It teaches them a lot," he said before one of the competition rounds Saturday. "They're trying to solve a problem."
Thirteen-year-olds Ram Nambi, an eighth-grader at Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury, and Jonathan R. Pouliot, a seventh-grader at the same school, both said this was the first year they participated in the competition.
"My parents told me about it," Ram said between rounds Saturday. "It's really fun."
Asked what his favorite part of the six-week process was, Jonathan said, "I like the competition."
Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin was also represented at the event. Sixth-grade students Ben A. Bertram, 11, Deborah Dillenburg, 12, and twins Colin C. and Devin D. Brady, both 11, were hopeful after winning one of their rounds Saturday afternoon.
"We've gone this far," Ben said during a break.
"So far, so good," Colin agreed.
FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, a physicist and entrepreneur known for the Segway Human Transporter Noun 1. Segway Human Transporter - (trademark) a self-balancing personal transportation device with two wheels; can operate in any level pedestrian environment
Segway, Segway HT
electrical device - a device that produces or is powered by electricity , according to Mr. Grabowski, to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Last year, FIRST Robotics featured more than 32,500 students on more than 1,300 teams in 37 different regional competitions, according to Mr. Grabowski.
"It's a fun thing and they learn a lot," he said. "For students nowadays, everything's technology."